ARTICLE: Political standing changes epidemic coverage

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Newspapers in the political right and left cover news differently, a study by Sangwon Lee and Jihyun Esther Paik, both of University of Wisconsin-Madison, confirms. The authors analysed the coverage of the MERS epidemic in South Korea by the left-wing Hankyoreh and the right-wing Chosun Ilbo newspapers.

While Hankyoreh emphasized the role of the society and the government, Chosun Ilbo approached the topic from the viewpoint of individuals. The left-wing paper also framed the epidemic as more serious of an issue than the right-wing paper.

The authors also identified differences in the papers’ use of sources. Both relied heavily on official sources, but Hankyoreh focused more on regional officials while Chosun Ilbo made extensive use of medical officials and experts.

The article “How partisan newspapers represented a pandemic” was published by the Asian Journal of Communication. It is available online (abstract free).

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